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Aug. 23, 1938. w. M; HAMPTON 2,128,028 APPARATUS FOR APPLYING LIQUID MATERIAL TO GLOBULAR ARTICLES Filed July 5, 1936 mm‘ J ‘ willgiauo lfuzzpi'olz/ Patented Aug. 23, 1938 2,128,028 a ‘ UNITED STATES PATIENT OFFICE APPARATUS For. APPLYING LIQUID MA TEmAL 'ro GLoBULA'n ARTICLES William Morgan Hampton, Winter Haven, Fla., ' assignor to Brogdex Company, Pomona, Calif., _ a corporation of Florida ‘Application July s, 1936, Serial No. 88,849 7 Claims. (01. 91-46) ' 'ihis invention relates generally to apparatus for applying liquid material to globular articles. Although the invention is capable of wide ap plication in treating‘ or applying liquid material 5 to many di?erent articles of generally globular shape, it is particularly useful in the preparation for market of fresh fruit and vegetables, such as oranges, lemons, grapefruit, apples, tomatoes, and the like, all of which may, for convenience, 1. be generically’ referred to as “fruit”. , The preparation for market of fresh fruit, es pecially citrus fruit, usually involves applying thereto a protective and preservative composi tion or liquid comprising a waxy material, such as 1| paraffin, and a solvent or liquid vehicle, with’ or without other ingredients. The composition is distributed over the surface of the fruit to provide a coating which protects and preserves it and in general maintains its original appearance, sound ” ness, freshness and ?avor for- a long time. The apparatus of the present invention enables this treatment to be carried out in a simple economi cal and effective manner. Accordingly, in ex with the principles of the invention, by apparatus" which comprises a relatively shallow container or dip tank adapted to contain a relatively small quantity of liquid material, means for conveying or feeding articles into and through said tank, and rotatable means over ‘which such articles pass operable to engage and cause turning move ment of said articles. Most desirably, the appa- ‘ ratus also includes means cooperating with said rotatablemeans for ensuring operative contact .' of such articles therewith vas they pass through the tank. In order further to explain the underlying principles of the invention, certalnpractical em bodiments thereof are shown in the accompany- it! ing drawing and described in detail hereinafter by way of illustrative examples only and not as in any way limiting the broad scope of the invention. In this drawing: , Fig. 1 is a vertical longitudinal sectional view 20 ‘of onev form of apparatus embodying the inven-. tion, and ‘ Fig. 2 is a similar view of a modi?ed form. Referring first to the embodiment of the invené tion illustrated in Fig. 1, the novel apparatus 25 ,8‘ will be made for the sake of a concrete illustrative there shown comprises generally a relatively example, to novel apparatus particularly useful 4 shallow container or .dip tank ill adapted to con in treating or applying liquid‘ material to citrus tain a relatively small quantity of liquid material fruit, but it is to be understood, as previously ll, means indicated generally at H for convey emphasized, that the invention is not limited to ' ing or feeding articles into and through said 30 80 this particular use. tank, rotatable means It over which such articles One of the objects of this invention is the pro pass for engaging and causing turning movement vision of means for applying liquid material to of said articles, and means It for maintaining a fruit and other articles of generally globular depth of liquid material above said rotatable shape in a comparatively small, compact, inex means insuilicient to permit ‘ articles passing 35 Sl pensive structure which will operate to ‘quickly through said tank to ?oat over said rotatable plaining the principles of theinvention, reference and uniformly distribute the material over the entire surface of each article with a. minimum amount of handling. ' Another object of the invention is'the provision 40 of means for applying liquid material to fruit and other articles of generally globular shape in ‘such manner as to require the use‘ of onlyv a relatively ' small quantity of liquid at any given time. Other objects and novel features and advan 46 tages of the invention will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying‘drawing which illustrates prac tical forms of apparatus embodying the inven tion, it being understood that the description of 50 these specific embodiments is merely illustrative and not restrictive and that various changes in arrangement and details can be made without de parting from the spirit and ,scope of the inven tion as set out in the appended claims.. These objects are accomplished, in accordance ' means out of contact therewith. ‘ One of the important features of this invention ' resides in the use of a tank of such form and ar rangement, in combination with the article con- 40 veying or advancing means, that it is necessary to use only a relatively very small body or volume of ' liquid material in operating the apparatus. Vari ous cooperative arrangements of the tank and the article conveying or advancing means can be 45_ made to attain this end. In the illustrative ex ample, dip tank "I comprises a comparatively shallow open-top pan or receptacle provided with substantially upright sides IE, only one of which is shown, and a concave substantially semi-cylin- 50 drical trough-shaped bottom portion I6 which ex tends between the two end walls “, l 8 and curves or slopes from the top edges downwardly toward the middle or mid-portion of the tank so that' the deepest part is substantially midway between 55 2 2,128,028 . the ends. Extending laterally from the rounded top edges of ends l1, l8 are inclined aprons or drip drain into dip tank H) for reasons which will be explained hereinafter. roll. pans, I9, 20, respectively, which slope toward and “ , The article conveying or advancing means II, which may be of any appropriate character, is here illustrated as comprising an endless link belt or woven wire web 2| which passes over a 10 roller 22 at the feed-in end of the dip tank l0, ' under a smaller idler roll i3 in the bottom of the tank, then out of the opposite end of the tank and over idler roll 23, passing over drain pan 20 and around roll 24 at the discharge end of the unit, 15 thence around roll 25 and driven roll 26 back to the roll 22 at the feed-in end of the dip tank. The upper run of the belt 2| between the rolls 22 and 23 is thus constrained to travel downwardly into the dip tank and the liquid material II con 20 tained therein by the idler roll IS, the belt then passing upwardly out of the tank over the roll 23. Rolls 22, i3 and 23 cause this part of the con veyor belt to assume a trough or V-shape which follows rather closely the concave trough-shaped 25 bottom portion ill of dip tank l0 so that it is pos sible to use a comparatively shallow tank con taining a relatively small body or volume of coat ing material. However, the principal feature which, in com 30 bination with the dip tank and conveyor, makes it possible to use a relatively small body or volume of liquid material, resides in the arrangement and action of the rotatable means comprising the idler roll l3 in the bottom of the dip tank l0, and 35 under which the conveyor belt passes, in coopera tion with the means I4 for ensuring contact of articles with said roll as they pass through the tank. The conveyor belt 2| moving in the direc tion of‘the arrows feeds the fruit or other articles, 40 such as oranges or the like, delivered to it by feeding means such as a chute board, indicated conventionally at 21, into the dip tank at one end and advances it through the tank and the liquid material contained therein, the fruit or other 45 articles passing out of the tank on the belt at the opposite or discharge end of the tank. As the belt travels downwardly into the tank, the fruit is dipped into the liquid material which is thus applied thereto. As the fruit moves through the 50 tank and the liquid material it strikes and is momentarily stopped and turned over and over by the reverse rotation of the upper surface of the roll l3, induced by the travel of belt 2|, provided, of course, that the depth of liquid material above 55 said roll is insufficient to permit the fruit or other articles to ‘?oat over the roll out of contact there with. The fruit is thus smeared and entirely and 60 65 ’ 70 liquid material thereabove is insu?icient to let the fruit be ?oated upwardly out of contact with said roll as it passes through the liquid ‘material, thus ensuring operative contact of the fruit with said ' ' The means for supplying liquid material to the dip tank l0 may be of any suitable character. In the desirable practical form here illustrated, liquid material is supplied to the dip tank I 0 from a supply tank 28 located under dip tank I0, the 10 arrangement being such that both tanks have the same side walls l5, and end walls l1, l8. A motor driven pump 29 removes liquid material from the supply tank and delivers it through pipe 30 to the valve-controlled spray pipe 3| which extends transversely over dip tank l0 so as to spray liquid material on the fruit as it passes through the dip tank. The amount of liquid material supplied to the dip tank is regulated so as to maintain vthere in a body of liquid material whose surface level 20 is up to the over?ow outlets i4. ,Usually a slight excess over the minimum amount required to maintain this level is supplied, the excess coat ing material passing through the over?ow out lets “ into the supply tank. 25 Means indicated generally at 32 are provided for heating and maintaining ?uent the liquid ma terial in supply tank 28, and because of the com pact arrangement of the clip tank immediately ad jacent to and over the supply tank, the heating 30 means also heats the liquid material in, the dip tank. In the example illustrated, heating means 32 comprises a valve controlled steam coil located in the bottom of supply tank 28, but any suitable heating means may be used. In operating the apparatus to treat or coat fruit; the fruit (e. g. oranges) or other articles are de livered by a delivery board, elevator, belt con veyor 'or other feeding means, indicated con ventionally at 21, to the endless conveyor belt 2| 40 adjacent roll 22 at the feed-in end of dip tank ill. Conveyor belt 2i feeds the fruit into the dip tank and the liquid material therein, causing the fruit to dip into said liquid material. The continuous feed of fruit into the dip tank causes continuous 45 passage of fruit through said tank. The fruit with the liquid material applied thereto passes out of the tank at the opposite or discharge end there of and is carried by the belt to a place of dis charge. After the conveyor belt leaves _the dip tank, it passes over the inclined drip pan or apron 20 arranged to catch liquid material which drops from the conveyor belt and the coated fruit and conduct it back to the dip tank. During passage of the fruit through the liquid material it strikes and is momentarily stopped and turned over by the reverse rotation of the idler roll l3 in the uniformly covered with liquid material, even bottom of the dip tank whereby a ?lm‘ of liquid though there may be insu?icient liquid material material is uniformly applied over the entire sur in the tank to submerge the fruit or other articles face of the fruit. The operation of the apparatus being treated. ~ is a continuous one, the fruit to be treated or In order to make it possible to treat articles, coated being fed into one end of the apparatus and particularly ?oatable articles such as citrus fruit, ' the treated or coated fruitbeing continuously de with a maximum degree of efficiency and at the livered at the other end. same time permit the use of a relatively small Any coating material or composition of a free quantity of liquid, means are provided for en ly ?uent or liquid consistency suitable for the suri'ng contact of such articles with the roll l3 formation of the desired ?lm-like protecting and as they pass through the dip tank l0 and the preservative coating upon the fruit may be em liquid material II. In the illustrative example, ployed, including materials which require heat this means takes the form of an over?ow outlet to make them freely ?uent. The invention also comprising a plurality of holes l4 provided in the includes the use of coating materials or compo 70 bottom portion iii of dip tank ill for maintaining sitions which require rubbing or brushing of the the proper predetermined level of liquid material in the dip tank. These holes or over?ow outlets H 75 are so located relative to roll i3 that the depth of fruit to form the protective coating from the material applied thereto, but the invention is particularlyv useful in forming a protective and 75 2,128,028 preservative coating upon fruit from coating ma - 3' can be made without departing from the spirit terials in emulsion form applied thereto without - and scope of the invention as defined in the any rubbing or brushing of the fruit. The novel apparatus is particularly adapted to such use be cause the coating material or emulsion is unl formly applied in a thin?lm to the entire sur face of the fruit, thus making rubbing or brush ing of the fruit to obtain a thin, uniform, ?lm like coating unnecessary. ' In the form of apparatus illustrated in Fig. 2, the dip tank 33 is provided adjacent the bottom vwith a series of parallel rolls 34 joumaled at their ‘ ends in arcuate metal frames 35 mounted at the sides of the dip tank and driven by a chain 36 passed over and under sprockets 31 at one end of the set of rolls, the arrangement causing the' . successive rolls of the set to revolve in opposite angular directions. Chain 36 is driven by an electric motor 33 which also serves to drive the pump 39 for supplying liquid material through pipe 39BL and spray pipes 33'' to the dip tank from the supply tank 40. The over?ow outlets 338 provided in the bottom portion 33b of the dip tank 33 maintain the proper predetermined level of liquid material in said tank relative to the rolls 34 so that at least the lower rolls are im mersed in said liquid material. The arrange ment is such that the depth of liquid material maintained above at least some of the rolls is in suilicient to permit articles passing through the dip tank to ?oat over said rolls out of contact therewith. The action of rolls 34 is to give turn ing movement to the fruit as it is passed through the dip tank and the liquid materialvcontained therein, similar to theraction of the roll l3 in i Fig. 1, but obviously the turning movement ex erted by the rolls in Fig. 2 is much more exten sive than in the simpler form illustrated in Fig. 1, the fruit being turned ?rst in one direction and claims. ' - What is claimed is: ' 1. Apparatus for applying liquid material to globular articles comprising, a relatively shallow dip tank adapted to contain a relatively small body of liquid material, means for conveying or feeding such articles into and through said tank, rotatable means over which such articles pass 10 for engaging and causing turning movement of said articles, and means for maintaining a ‘pre determined level of liquid material insaid tank relative to said rotatable means whereby said rotatable means is at least partially immersed in 15 said liquid material,- said rotatable means being so mounted relative to said liquid level and con tiguous to said conveying or feeding means and of such diameter relative to the diameter of said articles that said articles are ‘temporarily. sup- 20 ' ported by and caused to pass over‘ said rotatable means. ~ ,- ' ' 2. Apparatus for applying liquid material to globular articles comprising, a tank adapted to contain liquid material, a roll rotatably mounted 25 in said tank adjacent the bottom thereof, con veyor means for passing sucharticles through said tank and over said roll, said roll being operableto engage and cause turning movement of such articles, and an over?ow outlet for main- 30 taining a depth of liquid. material above said roll insu?icient to permit articlespassing through said tank to ?oat, over said roll out of contact there with, said roll being mounted‘ contiguous said conveyor means to prevent passage of articles 38 between said roll and said conveyor means. 3. Apparatus for applying liquid material to ?oatable globular articles comprising, a relatively - shallow dip tank adapted to contain liquid ma 'then in the opposite direction, as' indicated by ' terial in which said articles are adapted to ?oat, 40 the arrows in Fig. 2. In this form of the inven tion, rolls 34 are brush-surfaced to give added ef fect to the action thereof, but obviously rolls of any suitable type may be employed within the scope of the broad invention. In Fig. 2 the fruit is fed. to the dip tank 33 a :roll rotatably mounted in said' tank adjacent the bottom thereof, an endless conveyor con-. strained to travel downwardly into said tank, under ‘said roll, and upwardly out of said tank for passing such articles through said tank and over 45 said roll, said roll being operable to engage and over a brushing or washing machine indicated cause turning movement of such articles ‘and conventionally at 4| and comprising a pluralityv said roll being mounted contiguous said conveyor of parallel brush rolls cooperating in pairs to to prevent passage of articles between'said roll provide therebetween' elongated runways along and conveyor, and means for maintaining a 50 which the frut travels, the fruit then passing depth of liquid material above said roll insu?i transverselyover the series of driven metal rolls Y cient to permit articles passing through said to ?oat over said roll out of contact there 42 which feed the fruit to the dip tank. In go ing through the dip tank and the liquid material contained therein, the fruit passes over and is en w1 . ’ ‘ 4. Apparatus for applying liquid material to 55 gaged by the rolls 34 which cause the-fruit to _ globular articles comprising, a relatively shallow dip tank having a troughéshaped bottom which turn ?rst in one direction and then in the oppo site direction whereby liquid material is applied ' slopes downwardly from the ends toward a posi tron intermediate the ends, a roll rotatably to and evenly distributed over the entire sur face of each fruit. After the fruit passes mounted in said tank adjacent the bottom there- 60 of, conveyor means arranged closely adjacent to through the dip tank, it is delivered to the end less woven wire belt _(“link belt”) conveyor‘ 43 and conforming with said bottom for passing such articles through said tank and over said which delivers the fruit to a drier or other suit able place of discharge (not shown), the drain roll, said roll being operable to engage and cause pan >44 catching and returning to the dip tank turning movement of such articles, and means 65 for maintaining a depth‘of liquid material above said roll insu?lcient to permit articles passing through said tank to float over said roll out of is identical with that illustrated in Fig. 1 and . contact therewith, said roll being mounted con any liquid material which drops from the con veyor. Except as noted, ‘the construction and operation of the apparatus illustrated in Fig. 2 previously described in connection‘ therewith. ' In both forms of the invention, the means for feeding the fruit to and carrying it away from the dip tank may obviously diiTer widely from the ‘means illustrated by way of example and 75 it is to be understood that various modi?cations tiguous said conveyor means and of such di- 70 ameter relative to the diameter of said articles so as to' prevent, passage of articles between said roll and said conveyor means. 5. Apparatus for applying liquid material'to globular articles comprising a'relatively shallow ' ‘4 2,128,028 dip tank having a trough-shaped bottom which slopes downwardly from the ends toward a por tion intermediate the ends, a roll rotatably dip tank adjacent the bottom thereof, conveyor means for passing such articles through said dip tank and over said roll,'said roll being operable mounted in said tank adjacent the bottom there to engage and cause turning movement of such of, an endless conveyor having a portion con articles, means for supplying liquid material strained to travel downwardly into said tank, from said supply tank to said dip tank, and an under said roll, and upwardly out of said tank over?ow outlet in said dip tank discharging into and closely adjacent to and conforming with said supply tank for maintaining a depth of liquid said bottom for passing such articles through material in said dip tank above said roll insu?il cicnt to permit articles passing through said dip 10 said tank and over said roll, said roll being op erable to engage and cause turning movement of such articles, said conveyor engaging said roll to prevent passage of articles betweensaid roll and tank to ?oat over said roll out of contact there with. 7. Apparatus for applying liquid material to conveyor and to cause said roll to rotate so that globular articles comprising, a relatively shallow the article-engaging portion of its surface moves dip tank adapted to contain liquid material, in a direction opposite to the direction of move means for feeding such articles into and through said tank, a series of parallel rolls arranged to provide a substantially arcuate path over which 15 ment of articles through the tank, and means for maintaining a depth of ‘liquid material above said roll insu?icient to permit articles passing ' such articles pass, said rolls being operable to - through said tank to ?oat over said roll out of engage and cause turning movementof such contact therewith. articles, means for rotating successive, rolls in 6. Apparatus for applying liquid material to opposite directions, and means for maintaining globular articles comprising, a container adapted ‘a depth of liquid material above at least some to contain liquid material and divided into com of said rolls insu?icient to permit articles pass partments to provide a supply tank and a rela ing through said tank to float over said rolls out 25 tively shallow open-top dip tank arranged over of contact therewith. said supply tank, a roll rotatably mounted in said WILLIAM MORGAN HAMPTON.